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Publication numberUS20080125216 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/949,337
Publication dateMay 29, 2008
Filing dateDec 3, 2007
Priority dateOct 2, 2001
Publication number11949337, 949337, US 2008/0125216 A1, US 2008/125216 A1, US 20080125216 A1, US 20080125216A1, US 2008125216 A1, US 2008125216A1, US-A1-20080125216, US-A1-2008125216, US2008/0125216A1, US2008/125216A1, US20080125216 A1, US20080125216A1, US2008125216 A1, US2008125216A1
InventorsKazuo Okada
Original AssigneeAruze Gaming America, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine for providing progressive dividend for insurance along with execution of games, and playing method of same
US 20080125216 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine has a controller working, when a slot game to be displayed on a lower liquid crystal display is executed with an upper limit of wager bet by a player, to have the slot game counted by a counter for counting the number of times a rescue-set game has been executed, and for a count of the rescue-set game having reached 1,000 games without yielding any dividends of 60-folds or more, to provide such a dividend for rescue pay that has accumulated proportions corresponding to partial wagers of those wagers max-bet to slot games having been executed till then and proportions corresponding to partial dividends of those dividends yielded in slot games having been executed till then, while the dividend for rescue pay is provided by a payout of medals to a medal tray.
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Claims(8)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a bet switch element adapted for a plurality of bet patterns different in wager amount;
a display adapted to display a game executable with a wager bet by a player;
a first counter adapted for a count to be incremented with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, and to be reset with a first reset condition met;
a second counter adapted for a count to be incremented each time when the game is executed with the maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of the maximal wager amount bet to the executed game, and each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend, and to be reset with a second reset condition met; and
a controller adapted to operate:
(a) for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance;
(b) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the first condition as being met to reset the count of the first counter;
(c) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the second condition as being met to reset the count of the second counter; and
(d) for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.
2. The gaming machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
a credit display adapted to display a number of remaining pieces in terms of a restrictive credit stored in the gaming machine and employable as a wager through a way until realization thereof; and
a tray adapted to discharge a realizable credit employable as a wager by insertion into the gaining machine, wherein
the controller is adapted for operations:
to verify the realizable credit and the restrictive credit; and
to provide the remaining dividend by incrementing the number displayed on the credit display, and provide the dividend for insurance by discharging the realizable credit to the tray.
3. A gaming machine comprising:
a bet switch element adapted for a plurality of bet patterns different in wager amount;
a display adapted to display a game executable with a wager bet by a player;
a first counter adapted for a count to be incremented with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, and to be reset with a first reset condition met;
a second counter adapted for a count to be incremented each time when the game is executed, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of a wager bet to the executed game, and each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend, and to be reset with a second reset condition met; and
a controller adapted to operate:
(a) for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance;
(b) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the first condition as being met to reset the count of the first counter;
(c) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the second condition as being met to reset the count of the second counter; and
(d) for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.
4. The gaming machine as claimed in claim 3, further comprising:
a credit display adapted to display a number of remaining pieces in terms of a restrictive credit stored in the gaming machine and employable as a wager through a way until realization thereof; and
a tray adapted to discharge a realizable credit employable as a wager by insertion into the gaming machine, wherein
the controller is adapted for operations:
to verify the realizable credit and the restrictive credit; and
to provide the remaining dividend by incrementing the number displayed on the credit display, and provide the dividend for insurance by discharging the realizable credit to the tray.
5. A playing method for a gaming machine, comprising:
a step of accepting a bet of wager by a player;
a step of executing a game in accordance with acceptance of a wager bet by a player;
a step of incrementing a count of a first counter with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player;
a step of incrementing a count of a second counter each time when the game is executed with the maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of the maximal wager amount bet thereto;
a step of incrementing the count of the second counter each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend;
a step of operating, for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance;
a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the first counter;
a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the second counter; and
a step of operating, for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.
6. The playing method for a gaming machine as claimed in claim 5, further comprising:
a step of displaying on a credit display a number of remaining pieces in terms of a restrictive credit stored in the gaming machine and employable as a wager through a way until realization thereof; and
a step of providing the remaining dividend by incrementing the number displayed on the credit display, wherein
the operating to provide the dividend for insurance comprises discharging to a tray a realizable credit employable as a wager by insertion into the gaming machine.
7. A playing method for a gaming machine, comprising:
a step of accepting a bet of wager by a player;
a step of executing a game in accordance with acceptance of a wager bet by a player;
a step of incrementing a count of a first counter with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player;
a step of incrementing a count of a second counter each time when the game is executed, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of a wager bet to the executed game;
a step of incrementing the count of the second counter each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend;
a step of operating, for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance;
a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the first counter;
a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the second counter; and
a step of operating, for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.
8. The playing method for a gaming machine as claimed in claim 7, further comprising:
a step of displaying on a credit display a number of remaining pieces in terms of a restrictive credit stored in the gaming machine and employable as a wager through a way until realization thereof; and
a step of providing the remaining dividend by incrementing the number displayed on the credit display, wherein
the operating to provide the dividend for insurance comprises discharging to a tray a realizable credit employable as a wager by insertion into the gaming machine.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/907,681 entitled “GAMING MACHINE SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING A PAYOUT AS AN INSURANCE AND PLAYING METHOD THEREOF” filed on Apr. 13, 2007 and naming Kazuo OKADA as inventor, which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes. This application is also a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent Applications No. 10/261,769 filed on Oct. 2, 2002, No. 10/262,106 filed on Oct. 2, 2002, No. 10/263,820 filed on Oct. 4, 2002, and No. 10/268,725 filed on Oct. 11, 2002, which are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a gaming machine for providing a progressive dividend for insurance along with execution of games, and a playing method of the same.

2. Description of Related Art

There are known gaming machines, such as slot machines, described in Specifications of, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,459, U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,697, U.S. Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 2003-0,069,073, European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 1,192,975, U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,483, U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,730, U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,088, U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,981, U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,896, U.S. Pat. No. 6,001,016, U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,820, U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,482, U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,731, U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,957, U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,048, U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,402, U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,013, U.S. Pat. No. 4,283,709, European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 0,631,798, German Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 4,137,010, British Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 2,326,830, German Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 3,712,841, U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,638, U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,980, U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,909, U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,303, U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,409, U.S. Pat. No. 5,770,533, U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,817, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,704, U.S. Pat. No. 6,932,707, U.S. Pat. No. 4,837,728, European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 1,302,914, U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,459, U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,700, International Laying-Open Publication No. 03/083795, German Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 3,242,890, European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 0,840,264, German Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 10,049,444, International Laying-Open Publication No. 04/095383, European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 1,544,811, U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,963, European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 1,477,947, and European Patent Application Laying-Open Publication No. 1,351,180. In a facility where such a gaming machine is installed, the player is allowed, by betting a consideration such as a coin or credit to the gaming machine, to play a game provided by the gaming machine.

For example, at a slot machine, each time when a player who has bet a consideration to the slot machine presses a start switch, the slot machine is caused to execute a slot game in which a plurality of symbols arranged on a display are rearranged. And, for a prescribed winning combination made by a combination of rearranged symbols on the display, the slot machine provides a dividend depending on the winning combination.

Further, the slot machine is adapted to provide a dividend called “Jackpot”, as well. Namely, at the slot machine, part of the consideration bet to the slot machine is accumulated as a premium for dividend of Jackpot. The slot machine is adapted to decide at a predetermined timing whether or not to provide a dividend of Jackpot, and for a decision to provide, pays out the entirety or part of a total sum of premiums that have been accumulated for a Jackpot. This constitutes a kind of insurance to the player. It is noted that any consideration bet in each game, any portion of consideration accumulated or reserved as a premium for a Jackpot, and any sum of such premiums will be sometimes collectively referred, simply, to “stake” or “wager”.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming machine with an excellent entertainingness, and a playing method thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine comprises a bet switch element adapted for a plurality of bet patterns different in wager amount, a display adapted to display a game executable with a wager bet by a player, a first counter adapted for a count to be incremented with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, and to be reset with a first reset condition met, a second counter adapted for a count to be incremented each time when the game is executed with the maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of the maximal wager amount bet to the executed game, and each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend, and to be reset with a second reset condition met, and a controller adapted to operate (a) for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance, (b) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the first condition as being met to reset the count of the first counter, (c) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the second condition as being met to reset the count of the second counter, and (d) for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine comprises a bet switch element adapted for a plurality of bet patterns different in wager amount, a display adapted to display a game executable with a wager bet by a player, a first counter adapted for a count to be incremented with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, and to be reset with a first reset condition met, a second counter adapted for a count to be incremented each time when the game is executed, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of a wager bet to the executed game, and each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend, and to be reset with a second reset condition met, and a controller adapted to operate (a) for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance, (b) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the first condition as being met to reset the count of the first counter, (c) for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to assume the second condition as being met to reset the count of the second counter, and (d) for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, a playing method for a gaming machine comprises a step of accepting a bet of wager by a player, a step of executing a game in accordance with acceptance of a wager bet by a player, a step of incrementing a count of a first counter with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, a step of incrementing a count of a second counter each time when the game is executed with the maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of the maximal wager amount bet thereto, a step of incrementing the count of the second counter each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend, a step of operating, for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance, a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the first counter, a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the second counter, and a step of operating, for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, a playing method for a gaming machine comprises a step of accepting a bet of wager by a player, a step of executing a game in accordance with acceptance of a wager bet by a player, a step of incrementing a count of a first counter with execution of the game with a maximal wager amount bet thereto by a player, a step of incrementing a count of a second counter each time when the game is executed, by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of a wager bet to the executed game, a step of incrementing the count of the second counter each time when a dividend is yielded in accordance with a result of the game, by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of the yielded dividend, a step of operating, for the count of the first counter having reached a prescribed value, to provide a dividend depending on the count of the second counter, as a dividend for insurance, a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the first counter, a step of operating, for the dividend for insurance having been provided, to reset the count of the second counter, and a step of operating, for the dividend yielded in accordance with the result of the game, to provide a remaining dividend after subtraction of the proportion corresponding to the partial dividend from the yielded dividend.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flowchart of an outlined processing procedure of a slot machine according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of control circuitry of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a payout table describing relationships between winning combinations and dividends for a slot game of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B are illustrations of a liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is an illustration of the liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13A and FIG. 13B are illustrations of the liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14A and FIG. 14B are illustrations of the liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15A and FIG. 15B are illustrations of the liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16A and FIG. 16B are illustrations of the liquid crystal display of the slot machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a slot machine according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 18 is a block diagram of control circuitry of the slot machine according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 19 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 20 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 21 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of a slot machine according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 22 is a flowchart of procedure of a process of the slot machine according to the third embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

There will be described an outline of actions, as well as a playing method, of a slot machine 10 as a gaming machine according to an embodiment of the present invention, with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG. 1 and a perspective view of the slot machine 10 shown in FIG. 2.

According to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 as well as the playing method allows a player to play a single time of slot game (that corresponds to a game recited in the claims) by betting a wager as a stake. The player can make the bet of a wager by inserting, into the slot machine 10, a realizable credit, more specifically, a token that can be cashed such as a medal or coin. It also is possible for the player to bet a wager by operating the slot machine 10 to appropriate, by a portion the player has specified for the wager, an electronic restrictive credit that is stored in the slot machine 10 and can be used as a wager all the way until realization.

For the wager that can be bet by using a realizable credit or a restricted credit, as described, a count unit called “piece of credit” will be employed in the following description. For example, if a single piece of medal or coin is inserted as a wager by a player into the slot machine 10, it so follows that “1 piece of credit” is bet as a wager. Further, if the slot machine 10 is operated by a player to appropriate, e.g., two pieces of restrictive credit for a wager, it so follows that “2 pieces of credit” are bet as a wager.

Further, according to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 as well as the playing method implements a later-described insurance pay as a dividend for insurance (referred herein to “rescue pay”), subject to a condition to be met for acquisition of the rescue pay. For the rescue pay as well as the insurance pay, a trademark registration request is applied. Such a dividend to be provided, i.e., to be struck by rescue pay is accumulated and updated, as needed, along with, among others, bets of wager by players and occurrences of dividend in slot games, as will be described.

As used herein, the term “rescue pay” means a dividend for insurance payable for an attained upper limit in number of slot games (e.g. 1,000 games) each of which had a max-bet staked or wagered by a player and followed by: no occurrences of a payout (dividend) depending on a result thereof; or by a payout depending on a result thereof, failing to fulfill a predetermined amount (e.g. a payout of 60 pieces of credit or more per one piece of bet credit), as will be described.

According to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 then (at a step S11) accepts a bet of a wager as a stake by a player for a single time of slot game to be executed from now on.

Next (at a step S12), the slot machine 10 verifies whether or not the bet of wager accepted is a max-bet as a condition for acquisition of a rescue pay. Here, the max-bet means a bet of three pieces of credit wagered for a single time of slot game. Accordingly, in the present embodiment, the bet of three pieces of credit corresponds to a maximal wager recited in the claims.

It is now noted that if the bet of wager accepted is a max-bet, the slot machine 10 recognizes it as a substantial bet of a combination of a wager for a slot game and a wager for a rescue pay. Unless the bet of wager accepted is a max-bet, it is recognized that simply a wager for a slot game is bet, with a substantial conclusion that no wager is bet for a rescue pay.

Therefore, if the bet of wager accepted is a max-bet (‘yes’ at the step S12), the slot machine 10 sets (at a step S13) the slot game to be executed from now on as a rescue-set game. And (at a step S14), the number of digested games is counted. On the other hand, unless the bet of wager accepted is a max-bet (‘no’ at the step S12), there is no setting for a slot game to be executed from now on as a rescue-set game, nor counting of number of digested games. Accordingly, for a max-bet by a player, a rescue pay is to be provided, if the above-noted upper limit of game number is reached during the slot game.

Next (at a step S15), the slot machine 10 executes a slot game. In the slot game, a start switch is pressed by the player, whereby, in five display regions Q1 to Q5, symbols scroll and thereafter stop. When they are stopped, the display regions Q1 to Q5 have a combination of symbols displayed thereon as a result of the play of slot game. If this is a winning combination, a payout will be made of the rest of a dividend corresponding to the winning combination after subtraction of such part of the dividend that is reserved for accumulation on a dividend for rescue pay, as will be described.

Thereafter (at a step S16), the slot machine 10 judges whether or not the result of slot game is a special play result. As the “special play result”, there may be, e.g., such a case that gives a payout of 60 pieces or more per one piece of bet credit. More specifically, it corresponds to a case in which symbols of a (special symbol) “DOUBLE” or (special symbol) “TRPLE BAR” shown in FIG. 16 are aligned in the five display regions Q1 to Q5.

If it is a special play result (‘yes’ at the step S16), then the slot machine 10 resets (at a step S21) the number of digested rescue-set games counted at the step S15.

On the other hand, if it is not any special play result (‘no’ at the step S16), the slot machine 10 updates (at a step S17) the dividend for rescue pay. Contents of this update are determined along with, among others, a bet of wager by a player and an occurrence of dividend in the slot game. More specifically, the slot machine 10 increases the dividend for rescue pay by a partial wager of a bet wager for the slot game, or by a partial wager of a wager of max-bet for the slot game. In addition, the slot machine 10 increases the dividend for rescue pay by a partial dividend of a dividend having accrued in the slot game. The dividend for rescue pay may be updated by incrementing the count of a counter that counts the dividend for rescue pay.

Next (at a step S18), the slot machine 10 judges whether or not a rescue is set for the current game, and if a rescue is set for the game, then judges (at a step S19) whether or not the number of digested rescue-set games has reached a prescribed upper limit of game number. If the number of digested rescue-set games has reached the upper limit of game number, then (at a step S20) it provides or strikes for a rescue pay a dividend of a count of the counter counting the dividend for rescue pay.

Such being the case, there can be set a rescue-set game, which provides a rescue pay if the number of digested rescue-set games has reached an upper limit of game number.

Namely, according to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 as well as the playing method makes, each time of execution of a slot game having a max-bet wagered for rescue pay during repetition of slot games with wagers bet by players, an increment of the count of a counter counting the number of digested rescue-set games, i.e., those slot games in which a wager is bet for rescue pay.

If the slot machine 10 is kept, over multiple (e.g. 1,000) slot games with a max-bet wagered, from consecutively providing payouts of many pieces, the counter counting the number of digested rescue-set games has a count reaching a prescribed value (e.g., 1,000).

Further, upon, among others, a bet of wager by a player and an occurrence of dividend in a slot game at the slot machine 10, the slot machine 10 increments the count of the counter counting the dividend for rescue pay. More specifically, the slot machine 10 increases, every time of execution of a slot game, the dividend for rescue pay by a partial wager of a wager bet for the slot game. Or, the slot machine 10 may increase, each time of execution of a slot game with a max-bet wagered by a player, the dividend for rescue pay by a partial wager of the wagered max-bet. And, along therewith, the slot machine 10 increases, each time when a dividend has accrued in a slot game, the dividend for rescue pay by a partial dividend of the dividend having accrued.

According to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 as well as the playing method implements, when the count of the counter counting the number of digested rescue-set games has reached a prescribed value, a rescue pay of a dividend of the count of the counter counting the dividend for rescue pay, resetting the count of the counter counting the number of digested rescue-set games.

According to the present embodiment, such the slot machine 10 and the playing method allow, after a considerable number of (e.g., 1,000) slot games having max-bets wagered by players, a player to receive a rescue pay as a dividend else than a dividend having accrued in a game.

Moreover, according to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 as well as the playing method allows the dividend for rescue pay to be progressively increased by portions of wagers bet by players in slot games having been executed till then, or portions of max-bets wagered by players and portions of dividends of slot games, as they are accumulated.

Further, according to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 as well as the playing method essentially allows a max-bet for a slot game to concurrently include a bet of wager as a condition for acquisition of a rescue pay, i.e., a bet of a wager for a so-called rescue-on.

Description is now made into details of configuration of the slot machine 10 according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 2, the slot machine 10 according to the present embodiment has a cabinet 11, a top box 12 provided on an upside of the cabinet 11, and a main door 13. The cabinet 11 is provided with a lower LCD (liquid crystal display) 16 at the side facing the player. Further, the cabinet 11 has various incorporated components including a controller 40 (refer to FIG. 3) for electrical control of the slot machine 10, a hopper 44 (refer to FIG. 3) for control of medal insertion, storage, and payout, etc. Further, at a top of the cabinet 11, there is provided a lamp 30. When turned on, the lamp 30 emits rotating light from the lateral side. A controller 40 controls the lamp 30 to turn on and off, as well as a rotational speed of rotating light.

Further, in the present embodiment, there is exemplified a medal to be employed for a bet of wager as necessary for execution of a game. However, for the bet of wager, there can be used a realizable credit that can be cashed, such as a token or coin, besides the medal. It also is possible to bet a wager by using an electronic restrictive credit stored in the slot machine 10, such as an electronic money or electronic valuable information corresponding thereto, that can be used as a wager all the way until realization.

The main door 13 is attached to the cabinet 11, allowing opening and closing. Substantially at a central part of the main door 13, the lower LCD 16 is provided. The lower LCD 16 can display frames of image of various games including a slot game, as will be described. In the slot game, it has symbols arranged in a transverse array of five display regions Q1 to Q5, changed, and then rearranged. Symbols rearranged in the display regions Q1 to Q5 sometimes have a winning combination (refer to FIG. 10), when a payout is made by a prescribed dividend corresponding to the wining combination. It is noted that in the present embodiment, the payout of a dividend corresponding to a wining combination (as a play result of a slot game) is implemented by an increase in number of pieces of restrictive credit stored in the slot machine 10, as will be described. The lower LCD 16 displays a stored number of pieces of restrictive credit, as will be described.

Below the lower LCD 16, there are provided a medal slot 21 configured for insertion of medals to be used when betting a wager for execution of a slot game, and a bill validator 22 adapted to validate a bill to be adequate or not, and accept a legitimate bill. Further, near the medal slot 21 and the bill validator 22, there are various operational buttons.

Those operational buttons include a cashout button 23, a max-bet button 24, a bet button 25, a spin repeat bet button 26, and a start button 27.

The bet button 25 is adapted as a button operable, when betting a wager by using a restrictive credit, to determine the number of pieces of restrictive credit to be bet as the wager for a slot game to be played on the lower LCD 16, and cause one piece of credit to be bet, each time when it is pressed.

The spin repeat bet button 26 is adapted as a button operable by a player when the number of pieces of credit to be bet as a wager for a current slot game is identical to the number of pieces of credit of a wager having been bet by using the above-noted bet button 25 for the previous slot game. It is possible by operation of the spin repeat bet button 26 to have the same number of pieces of credit as the previous game bet as a wager for the current game, as well, thus saving a time for repeated operations of the spin repeat bet button 26 corresponding to the number of pieces of credit to be bet for the current slot game.

The start button 27 is adapted as a button to start a slot game on the lower LCD 16, after a wager is bet. With a medal inserted into the medal slot 21, or a number of pieces of credit determined and bet as the wager for current game by the bet button 25, the start switch 27 is pressed, whereby the slot game is started on display regions Q1 to Q5 of the lower LCD 16.

The cashout button 23 is adapted as a button to pay out a number of stored pieces of restrictive credit displayed on the lower LCD 16, as it is substituted by an equivalent number of pieces of medal. The number of pieces of medal to be paid out are discharged from a medal payout port 28 opening in a lower front portion of the main door 13, so that they are accumulated in a medal tray 18.

The max-bet button 24 serves as a button for betting, by a single operation, a maximal number of (e.g., three) pieces of credit that can be bet as a wager for a single time of slot game. It is noted that the maximal number of pieces of credit bettable for a single time of slot game can be changed by operation of a controller.

The main door 13 has a foot display 34 provided at the front of a lower part thereof, for displaying thereon a variety of image frames associated with a slot game. Those image frames may involve, e.g., characters for a slot game to be played on the slot machine 10, or the like.

At both sides of the foot display 34, there are lamps 47 provided for illumination in accordance with a preset pattern. The above-noted medal payout port 28 is disposed below the foot display 34.

The top box 12 has an upper LCD (liquid crystal display) 33 provided at the front. The upper LCD 33 displays thereon numbers of pieces of medal payable to symbol combinations, as well as image frames for rendition or else.

Further, in the top box 12, a speaker 29 is provided. Below the upper LCD 33, there are provided a ticket printer 35, a card reader 36, a data display 37, and a keypad 38. The ticket printer 35 is adapted to print a bar code, in which various data on the number of pieces of credit, date and time, slot machine 10's identification number, etc. are coded, on a ticket to be output as a bar-coded ticket 39.

With a bar-coded ticket 39, the player is allowed among others to play at another slot machine by letting this slot machine read it, or to cash it to bills or such at a prescribed station in the gaming facility (e.g., at a cashier in the casino).

The card reader 36 is adapted to accept a smart card to be inserted thereto, read a data from an inserted smart card, and write a data to a smart card. The smart card is a card to be carried by a player, and is adapted to store therein a data for identification of the player, data on a history of games the player has played, and the like.

FIG. 3 shows, in a block diagram, electrical configuration of the controller 40, and various devices connected to the controller 40, in the slot machine 10 according to the present embodiment. For the slot machine 10 shown in FIG. 3, the controller 40 is composed of a microcomputer, including a set of I/F (interface) circuits 102, an I/O (input/output) bus 104, a CPU (central processing unit) 106 as a main, a ROM (read only memory) 108, a RAM (random access memory) 110, an I/F circuit 111 for communications, a random number generator 112, a speaker driver 122, a hopper driver 124, a lamp driver 126, a counter 128, and a display controller 140.

The I/F circuit set 102 is connected to the I/O bus 104, which is configured to transmit data and address signals to and from the CPU 106.

The I/F circuit set 102 is connected to a start switch 27 a for detecting an operation of the start button 27. The start switch 27 a outputs a start signal, which is transformed, in the I/F circuit set 102, to a prescribed signal to be transmitted through the I/O bus 104 to the CPU 106.

Further, the I/F circuit set 102 is connected to a bet switch 25 a for detecting an operation of the bet button 25, a max-bet switch 24 a for detecting an operation of the max-bet button 24, a spin repeat bet switch 26 a for detecting an operation of the spin repeat bet button 26, and a cashout switch 23 a for detecting an operation of the cashout button 23. These switches 23 a, 24 a, 25 a, and 26 a have their switching signals, which are output therefrom and supplied to the I/F circuit set 102, where they are transformed to prescribed signals to be transmitted through the I/O bus 104 to the CPU 106.

In addition, the I/F circuit set 102 is connected to a medal sensor 43. The medal sensor 43 is adapted as a sensor for detection of a medal inserted into the medal slot 21, and provided at a medal insert part of the medal slot 21. The medal sensor 43 outputs a detection signal, which is supplied to the I/F circuit set 102, where it is transformed to a prescribed signal to be transmitted through the I/O bus 104 to the CPU 106.

The I/O bus 104 is connected to the ROM 108, in which a system program is stored, and the RAM 110, which holds various data. Further, the I/O bus 104 is connected to the random number generator 112, I/F circuit 111 for communications, display controller 140, hopper driver 124, speaker driver 122, lamp driver 126, and counter 128.

The CPU 106 is adapted for reading a game execution program to execute a slot game, taking as the timing an acceptance of a start operation for the game by a signal input from the start switch 27 a in accordance with an operation of the start button 27 by a player. The game execution program is a program for executing a slot game on the lower LCD 16 through the display controller 140.

In other words, the game execution program is programmed to execute such a slot game that has on the display regions Q1 to Q5 (refer to FIG. 2) symbols scrolling and, thereafter, symbols stopped (i.e., symbols rearranged anew after a previous symbol arrangement), and has a payout occur, given a combination of symbols constituting a winning combination by the stopped symbols.

The I/F circuit 111 for communications may be connected to a hall server or the like, for transmission of data thereto, such as on a history of games played at the slot machine 10, as well as for reception of various data therefrom.

The random number generator 112 generates a random number for use to determine whether or not a winning combination is to occur in a slot game to be played on the lower LCD 16.

The counter 128 serves for a resource counting of the dividend for rescue pay. Moreover, the counter 128 has a function of counting the number of times of execution of a max-bet slot game, i.e., a slot game for which a wager of three pieces that is an upper limit of wager bettable to a single time of slot game has been bet (the number of digested games). It is noted that the counter 128 may be set in the RAM 110.

The speaker driver 122 outputs audio data to the speaker 29. That is, the CPU 106 reads audio data stored in the ROM 108, which are transmitted through the I/O bus 104 to the speaker driver 122. The speaker 29 is thereby driven to produce prescribed sound effects.

The hopper driver 124 outputs a payout signal to the hopper 44, upon occurrence of a cashout demand. That is, with a cashout signal input from the cashout switch 23 a in accordance with an operation of the cashout button 23 by a player, the CPU 106 outputs a drive signal through the I/O bus 104 to the hopper driver 124. The hopper 44 is thereby driven to pay out an amount of medals corresponding to a residual number of pieces of restrictive credit at a current time, which is stored in a prescribed memory region of the ROM 108 and is displayed on the lower LCD 16.

The lamp driver 126 is adapted to output, to the lamp 30, a drive signal for turning on the lamp 30 to emit rotating flux of light outside the lamp, from a time when the number of remaining games to go for a rescue pay has got ten to a time when the rescue pay has come up. The drive signal includes a signal for controlling the lamp 30 to emit rotating flux of light with a faster rotation speed, as the number of remaining games to go for a rescue pay becomes smaller.

The display controller 140 performs a control for display to have a slot game played on the lower LCD 16. That is, the CPU 106 works in accordance with developments as well as a result of the slot game, to generate signals for commands to display image frames, and output the command signals through the I/O bus 104 to the display controller 140. With such command signals input from the CPU 106, the display controller 140 responds thereto by generating drive signals for driving the lower LCD 16, and outputs the drive signals to the lower LCD 16. The lower LCD 16 is thereby driven to display thereon various frames of images, such as images for rendition, and images for description of the game.

Further, the lower LCD 16 has a touch panel (paneled system of touch sensors) 19 arranged on an obverse side thereof, which is operated by a player's touch thereto to detect a contact position on the lower LCD 16, of which a detection data is transmitted to the CPU 106.

Further, the display controller 140 performs a display control to display, on the upper LCD 33, a variety of frames of images, such as images for rendition, and images for description of the game.

Description is now made of procedures as flows of control processes for execution of a game at the slot machine 10 as a gaming machine according to the first embodiment of the present invention, with reference to flowcharts of FIG. 4 to FIG. 9.

The CPU 106 shown in FIG. 3 implements, at a step S31 in FIG. 4, a process of accepting a bet of a wager as a stake for a slot game to be executed from now on. More specifically, as a number of pieces of medal are inserted through the medal slot 21, or the max-bet switch 24 or bet switch 25 is pressed to bet a wager in the form of a restrictive credit, the CPU 106 detects an operation or operations therefor.

Next, at a step S32, the CPU 106 implements a process of verifying whether or not the slot game to be executed from now on is a rescue-set game. For the verification of rescue-set game, the bet of wager accepted at the step S31 is referred to, as to the content. Details will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 5.

Thereafter, at a step S33, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the start switch 27 a is turned on along with an operation of the start button 27 by a player. If the start switch 27 a is turned on, the process flow goes to a step S34.

At the step S34, the CPU 106 implements a slot game executing process, This process includes execution of a process in which symbols arranged on the five display regions Q1 to Q5 are rearranged. Details will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 6.

At a step S35, the CPUIO6 implements an updating process of the dividend for rescue pay. In this process, for each bet of a wager accepted at the step S31, the value of a count of resource of the dividend for rescue pay that the counter 128 has counted is incremented by a proportion corresponding to a portion (e.g., one piece of credit) of the wager. Further, in the rescue pay dividend updating process at the step S35, for each dividend provided in a slot game executed at the step S34, the CPU 106 increments the value of a count of resource of the dividend for rescue pay the counter 128 has counted, by a proportion corresponding to a portion of the dividend (e.g., 10% of the dividend).

At a step S36, the CPU 106 implements a rescue-set game counting process. In this process, for each time of execution of a slot game as a rescue-set game, the CPU 106 increments the value of a count of the number of times of execution of max-bet slot game (digested game number) at the counter 128. Details will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 7.

At a step S37, the CPU 106 implements a rescue pay executing process. In this process, a flag is set to cause a payout for no occurrences of payout by a prescribed number of or more pieces (e.g., a payout of 60 or more pieces of credit per one bet piece of credit) over a prescribed number of (e.g., 1,000) slot games among slot games executed as a rescue-set game, in the past. Details will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 8.

At a step S38, the CPU 106 implements a dividend striking process as a dividing providing process. In this process, a dividend is provided by a medal or restrictive credit, if symbols stopped in the five display regions Q1 to Q5 give a winning combination, or if a flag is set to cause a rescue pay. Thereafter, the process flow will be called for a subsequent game. Details of the dividend striking process will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 9.

FIG. 5 shows in a flowchart a procedure as a flow of sub-processes of the rescue-set game setting process at the step S32 in FIG. 4. First, at a step S51, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the bet of wager accepted at the step S31 is a max-bet, i.e., equivalent to three pieces of credit as an upper limit of wager that can be bet to a single game. If the accepted bet of wager is a max-bet (‘yes’ at the step S51), then the process flow goes to a step S52. Unless it is a max-bet (‘no’ at the step S51), then the present process goes to an end.

At the step S52, the CPU 106 changes picture frames displayed on the upper LCD 33 and lower LCD 16, from those representing no rescue-set games to those representing a rescue-set game. More specifically, for the upper LCD 33, the CPU 106 exchanges a picture frame of FIG. 11A that includes a piece of image 200 displaying characters “RESCUE OFF”, to a picture frame of FIG. 13A that includes a piece of image 230 displaying characters “RESCUE ON”. For the lower LCD 16, the CPU 106 exchanges a picture frame of FIG. 11B that includes a selective image frame 210 displaying characters “RESCUE OFF”, to a picture frame of FIG. 13B that includes a selective image frame 210 displaying characters “RESCUE ON”.

It is noted that a player may touch the selective image frame 210 on the lower LCD 16, so that the touch panel (refer to FIG. 3) can detect the touching operation. Then, the CPU 106 works to display on the lower LCD 16 an image frame 220 for detailed explanation of rescue pay. In this example, there are displayed characters phrasing: “What is rescue pay?” and “A progressive bonus payable unless a payout of 60-folds or more has occurred during 1,000 max-bet slot games”. The CPU 106 further works so that the explanatory image frame 220 automatically disappears with lapse of a preset time.

Among others, the explanatory image frame 220 of FIG. 12, image piece 230 of FIG. 13A, and image frame 210 of FIG. 13B may display a number of pieces of credit payable for rescue pay, corresponding to a latest value of a count of resource of the dividend for rescue pay, as it is counted by the counter 128 and updated at the step S35 in FIG. 4. It is noted that, for simple representation, “pieces of credit” or “credit pieces” are sometimes referred to “credits” in the drawings.

Next, at a step S53 in FIG. 5, the CPU 106 sets the current slot game as a rescue-set game. Then, the present process goes to an end.

Description is now made into details of the slot game executing process at the step S34 in FIG. 4, with reference made to FIG. 6, which shows in a flowchart a procedure as a flow of sub-processes of the slot game executing process.

First, at a step S71, the CPU 106 determines symbols to be stopped on the display regions Q1 to Q5, depending on a random number generated by the random number generator 112 (refer to FIG. 3). Then, at a step S72, it displays scroll of symbols on the display regions Q1 to Q5 for a prescribed time (e.g., five seconds), and thereafter, has stopped symbols displayed thereon. The symbols to be stopped are those determined at the step S71. Thereafter, the process flow goes to a step S73.

At the step S73, the CPU 106 judges whether or not a winning combination of symbols that can yield a dividend is aligned on the display regions Q1 to Q5. FIG. 10 shows a dividend table, where winning combinations are specified. More specifically, five “DOUBLE” symbols, if aligned on the display regions Q1 to Q5, yields a dividend of 800 pieces of credit per one piece of credit, and five “triple BAR” symbols, if aligned on the display regions Q1 to Q5, yields a dividend of 60 pieces of credit per one piece of credit. Further, there are dividends specified in correspondence to aligned five “double BAR” symbols, aligned five “CHERRY” symbols, aligned five “single BAR” symbols, and aligned five “any BAR” (any of “triple BAR”, “double BAR”, and “single BAR”) symbols, as well as to aligned two “CHERRY” symbols, and appearing one “CHERRY” symbol.

At a step S74, the CPU 106 implements a process for yielding a dividend in accordance with the above-noted winning combination. At a step S75, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the dividend-yielding winning combination is a winning combination of special symbols aligned on the display regions Q1 to Q5. For the present embodiment, those symbols of which a wining combination yields a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit are set as “special symbols”. Accordingly, for alignment of five “DOUBLE” symbols or alignment of five “triple BAR” symbols shown in FIG. 10, there is given a judgment that special symbols are aligned.

Then, at a step S76 after the judgment that special symbols are aligned, the CPU 106 sets a special symbol combination flag to “1”. Thereafter, the present process goes to an end.

In other words, the slot game executing process shown in FIG. 6 is implemented to execute, for alignment of a winning combination, a sub-process for yielding a dividend in accordance with the winning combination, and for alignment of special symbols (“DOUBLE” symbols or “triple BAR” symbols in this embodiment) to give a great profit to the player, a sub-process of setting the special symbol combination flag to “1”, besides the sub-process for yielding a dividend which corresponds to the special symbols.

Description is now made into details of the rescue-set game counting process at the step S36 in FIG. 4, with reference to a flow chart of sub-processes shown in FIG. 7.

First, at a step S91, the CPU 106 verifies whether or not the slot game to be executed from now on is a rescue-set game. In the verification process, unless it is verified to be a rescue-set game (‘no’ at the step S91), the present process goes to an end. On the other hand, if it is verified to be a rescue-set game (‘yes’ at the step S91), the process flow goes to a step S92.

At the step S92, the CPU 106 increments a count Ta of slot games having been set as a rescue-set game. Namely, Ta=Ta+1. It is noted that the count Ta is set initially (when powered) to a zero, and is reset in a process at a step S95, as will be described. The count Ta is the number of times of execution of rescue-set game, as it is counted. Upon completion of this process, the process flow goes to a step S93.

At the step S93, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the special symbol combination flag is “1”. Namely, it is judged whether or not the special symbol combination flag set at the step S76 in FIG. 6 is “1”. If the special symbol combination flag is “1” (‘yes’ at the step S93), then the CPU 106 works to reset the count Ta in a process at a subsequent step S94, and to reset the special symbol combination flag in a process at a still subsequent step S95.

Unless the special symbol combination flag is judged to be “1” in the decision process at the step S93, the present process goes to an end. That is, unless the special symbol combination flag is “1”, the count Ta remains incremented, while the process flow will be called for a subsequent slot game. Thereafter, the present process goes to an end.

The rescue-set game counting process is implemented, for a current slot game having been played with a max-bet wagered therefor, failing to get a winning combination yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit (i.e., with a failure to establish a wining combination of special symbols), to increment the count Ta, or for that having succeeded in getting a winning combination yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit (i.e., with a success in establishing a wining combination of special symbols), to reset the count Ta, to thereby provide a count in number of consecutive games as max-bet slot games having failed to establish a wining combination of special symbols.

Description is now made of a procedure as a flow of sub-processes of the rescue pay executing process at the step S37 in FIG. 4, with reference to the flowchart of FIG. 8. First, at a step S101, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the current slot game is a rescue-set game. Namely, there is a judgment as to whether or not it is a slot game set as a rescue-set game in the process at the step S53 in FIG. 5. If it is a rescue-set game, the process flow goes to a step S102. Unless it is a rescue-set game, the present process goes to an end.

At the step S102, the CPU 106 judges whether or not the count Ta for a slot game as a rescue-set game is an upper limit Tamax (e.g., Tamax=1,000) preset therefor. If Ta=Tamax, the process flow goes to a step S1103. Unless Ta=Tamax, the present process goes to an end.

At the step S103, the CPU 106 resets the count Ta of slot games as rescue-set games, and executes a process to provide a dividend for rescue pay. That is, a rescue pay is to occur for a number of consecutive times of execution of slot games corresponding to the upper limit Tamax of the count Ta, as they have failed to establish a wining combination of special symbols, more specifically, in the failure to get a winning combination yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit.

It is noted that the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16 display their picture frames, which are each configured with one or more changeable image frames including a variety of image pieces in accordance with an occasional associated condition. FIG. 14A and FIG. 14B illustrate exemplary image frames to be displayed on the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16, respectively, as the count Ta approaches the upper limit Tamax. For a count Ta of “992”, the upper LCD 33 displays an image frame 224 informing the player of the number of games to go for a rescue pay, as it is eight. The lower LCD 16 displays an image piece 225 of an angel with folded wings. It is noted that the upper LCD 33 starts displaying the number of games to go for a rescue pay, when the number of remaining games has come to ten.

FIG. 15A and FIG. 15B illustrate exemplary image frames to be displayed for a count Ta of “999” on the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16, respectively. The upper LCD 33 displays an image frame 226 informing the player of the number of games to go for a rescue pay, as it is one. The lower LCD 16 displays an image piece 227 of an angel with spread wings.

FIG. 16A and FIG. 16B illustrate exemplary image frames to be displayed on the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16, respectively, for a count Ta having reached “1000” as the upper limit Tamax. The upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16 display image frames 316 and 252, respectively, with image pieces informing a dividend being provided for rescue pay, that is a dividend of 360 pieces of credit, which corresponds to a current count by the counter 128 with respect to the resource of dividend for rescue pay. Further, the lower LCD 16 displays an image piece 249 of an angle with open arms spilling starts out.

The image frames 224, 226, 316 and 252 shown in FIG. 14A, FIG. 15A, FIG. 16A, and FIG. 16B each display a number of pieces of credit payable for rescue pay, which corresponds, like the number of pieces of credit to be displayed as payable for rescue pay in, among others, the image piece 230 of FIG. 13A or the explanatory image frame 220 of FIG. 12 to be opened from the image frame 210 of FIG. 13B, to a latest value of a count of resource of the dividend for rescue pay, as it is counted by the counter 128 and updated at the step S35 in FIG. 4.

Further, the lamp 30 at the top of cabinet 11 turns on, as the upper LCD 33 starts displaying a number of games to go before occurrence of a rescue pay when the number of remaining games has come to ten, and is kept on until the rescue pay occurs (the remaining game number becomes a zero). When turned on, the lamp 30 emits rotating flux of light outwards from the lateral side. The rotation of rotating flux of light becomes faster, as the number of games to go for a rescue pay is decreased, and gets fastest when the rescue pay occurs.

Description is now made of the dividend striking process at the step S38 in FIG. 4, with reference to a flowchart of sub-processes shown in FIG. 9. First, at a step S121, the CPU 106 verifies whether or not the slot game has yielded a dividend, i.e., whether or not a wining combination is aligned in the slot game. More specifically, the CPU 106 verifies whether or not a dividend is yielded in a process at the step S74 of FIG. 6. If a dividend is yielded in the slot game (‘yes’ at the step S121), the CPU works (at a step S122) to increment a number of stored pieces of restrictive credit displayed on the lower LCD 16, by a portion of the yielded dividend corresponding to the rest (e.g., 90% of dividend) after a subtraction from the dividend by part of the dividend (e.g., 10% of dividend) corresponding to a prescribed proportion. Thereafter, the process flow goes to a step S123. If the slot game has yielded no dividends (‘no’ at the step S121), the process flow simply goes to the step S123.

At the step S123, the CPU 106 verifies whether or not a dividend for rescue pay is yielded at the step S103 in FIG. 8, i.e., whether or not a situation that a rescue-set game has failed to establish a winning combination of special symbols has been consecutively repeated as many times as the upper limit Tamax is reached. If a dividend for rescue pay is yielded (‘yes’ at the step S123), the CPU 106 works (at a step S124) for operation of the hopper driver 124 to pay out, from the hopper 44 to the medal tray 18, a number of pieces of medal corresponding to a number of pieces of credit having been counted as a resource of dividend for rescue pay till then by the counter 128. The number of pieces of credit having been counted as a resource of dividend for rescue pay till then by the counter 128 corresponds to a latest value of a count of resource of the dividend for rescue pay, as it is counted by the counter 128 and updated at the step S35 in FIG. 4. After the process of step S123, the process flow goes to a step S125.

At the step S125, the CPU 106 changes picture frames displayed on the upper LCD 33 and the lower LCD 16, from those which represent a rescue-set game, to those which do not represent any rescue-set game. More specifically, for the upper LCD 33, the CPU 106 exchanges a picture frame including the piece of image 230 shown in FIG. 13A which displays characters “RESCUE ON”, to a picture frame including the piece of image 200 shown in FIG. 11A which displays characters “RESCUE OFF”. Also for the lower LCD 16, the CPU 106 exchanges a picture frame including a selective image frame 210 of FIG. 13B that displays characters “RESCUE ON”, to a picture frame including a selective image frame 210 of FIG. 11B that displays characters “RESCUE OFF”. Thereafter, the present process goes to an end.

Such being the case, according to the present embodiment, a slot machine 10 pays out a dividend for rescue pay, for a count Ta having reached a prescribed upper limit Tamax in a rescue-set game.

Moreover, according to the present embodiment, a slot machine 10 is adapted to set a slot game to a rescue-set game, when a wager of three pieces of credit as a maximal wager bettable to a single game is bet to the slot game, i.e., when the slot game is max-bet.

Further, according to the present embodiment, a slot machine 10 is adapted for a rescue pay of a dividend increased by a portion corresponding to partial wagers of those wagers having been bet to slot games. According to the present embodiment, the slot machine 10 is adapted for a rescue pay of a dividend still increased by a portion corresponding to partial dividends of those dividends having been yielded in such slot games.

It is noted that the present embodiment is configured to increment a number of stored pieces of restrictive credit displayed on the lower LCD 16, for a dividend accrued in a slot game, and to provide a dividend payable as a number of pieces of coin or medal from the medal payout port 28, as it is yielded for occurrence of a rescue pay.

Therefore, the dividend yielded for rescue pay can appeal to the player as well as neighboring galleries, more easily than an accrued dividend in a slot game.

It is noted that the dividend yielded for rescue pay, as well as an accrued dividend in a slot game, may be accompanied by an increment in number of stored pieces of restrictive credit to be displayed on the lower LCD 16, or provided, i.e., struck by paying out a number of pieces of coin or medal from the medal payout port 28, whichever is implemented for an arbitrary modification.

Description is now made of a modification of the first embodiment of the present invention. Relative to the first embodiment, this modification is different simply at the step S35 of FIG. 4 in the first embodiment, which has shown an updating process of the dividend for rescue pay that the counter 128 has counted.

According to the modification, the slot machine 10 is adapted to implement, in place of the rescue pay dividend updating process at the step S35 in FIG. 4, a process of responding: to each verification of a bet of wager accepted at the step S31, as it is a max-bet, i.e., equivalent to three pieces of credit as an upper limit of wager bettable to a single time of slot game; by incrementing the value of a count of resource of dividend for rescue pay that the counter 128 has counted, by a proportion corresponding to a portion (e.g., one piece of credit) of the upper limit of wager. It is further adapted to implement a process of responding: to each yield of a dividend for a slot game executed in a process at the step S34; by incrementing the value of a count of resource of dividend for rescue pay that the counter 128 has counted, by a proportion corresponding to a portion of the dividend (e.g., 10% of dividend).

Like this, according to the modification, if a slot game is max-bet, that is, if a wager of three pieces of credit as an upper limit of wager bettable to a single time of slot game is bet to the slot game, then a dividend for rescue pay is increased by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of the max-bet wager. Further, according to the modification, if any dividend is accrued in a slot game, the dividend for rescue pay is still increased by a proportion corresponding to a partial dividend of that dividend.

It is noted that in the slot machine 10 according to the first embodiment or the modification described, essentially, a wager for rescue pay as well as a wager for a slot game is bet, when a wager of three pieces of credit is bet by a player to the slot game, that is, if the wager bet by a player to the slot game is a max-bet.

However, the bet of a wager for rescue pay may preferably be separated from the bet of a wager for a slot game.

Description is now made of a slot machine 10A according to a second embodiment of the present invention, which is configured to separately bet a wager for rescue pay and a wager for a slot game, accordingly. FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the slot machine 10A according to the second embodiment, which has below a lower LCD 16 a rescue bet button 20 operable to bet a wager for rescue pay.

Further, as shown in a block diagram of FIG. 18, the slot machine 10A according to the second embodiment has a rescue bet switch 20 a connected to an I/F circuit set 102 of a controller 40, and adapted to detect an operation of the rescue bet button 20.

In this respect, for the slot machine 10A according to the second embodiment, a sub-process to be executed in the rescue-set game setting process (at the step S32 of FIG. 4, by the CPU 106 of controller 40 in the slot machine 10) according to the first embodiment is somewhat changed from the content shown in FIG. 5.

More specifically, as shown in a flowchart of FIG. 19, a CPU 106 works at a step S131 for a sub-process to judge whether or not the rescue bet switch 20 a is turned on with an operation by a player to the rescue bet button 20. Unless the rescue bet switch 20 a is turned on (‘no’ at the step S131), the present process goes to an end. If the rescue bet switch 20 a is turned on (‘yes’ at the step S131), the CPU 106 executes a sub-process at a step S132 and another sub-process at a step S133, before the present process goes to an end. The sub-processes to be executed by the CPU 106 at the steps S132 and S133 are like to those executed, at the steps S52 and S53 in FIG. 5, by the CPU 106 of controller 40 in the slot machine 10 according to the first embodiment, and redundant description is omitted.

The slot machine 10A according to the second embodiment allows for an operation of the rescue bet button 20 by a player to make a bet of wager for rescue pay, setting a slot game as a rescue-set game, separately from a bet of wager for the slot game.

Description is now made of a modification of the second embodiment of the present invention. Relative to the second embodiment including the first embodiment applied thereto mutatis mutandis, this modification is different simply at the step S36 of FIG. 4 in the first embodiment as applied, which has shown a counting process of rescue-set games counted by the counter 128.

According to the present modification, as shown by a flowchart of sub-processes of a rescue-set game counting process in FIG. 20, the CPU 106 first works at a step S141 for execution of a sub-process to verify whether or not a slot game to be played from now on is a rescue-set game. In this sub-process, unless it is verified to be a rescue-set game (‘no’ at the step S141), the process flow goes to a step S142.

At the step S142, the CPU 106 executes a sub-process to verify whether or not the condition that the slot game is no rescue-set game is consecutive a number of times of game predetermined as a reference (e.g., through five games). Unless it is verified to be consecutive the reference number of times (‘no’ at the step S142), the present process goes to an end. On the other hand, if it is verified to be consecutive the reference number of times (‘yes’ at the step S142), then the CPU 106 works at a step 143 for execution of a sub-process to zero-reset a count Ta of slot games having been set as a rescue-set game, before the present process goes to an end.

In the sub-process at the step S141, if the slot game to be played is verified as a rescue-set game (‘yes’ at the step S141), the process flow goes along a line of steps S144 to S147. It is noted that the CPU 106 works at the steps S144 to S147 to execute like sub-processes to (those executed at the steps S92 to S95 in FIG. 7, by the CPU 106 of controller 40 in the slot machine 10 according to) the first embodiment, and redundant description is omitted.

Like this, according to the present modification, if the number of consecutive slot games to which a wager for rescue pay has not been bet by any player reaches a game number predetermined as a reference, there is made a reset to a count Ta of slot games set as rescue-set games that a counter 128 has counted till then.

It is noted that according to any one of the foregoing embodiments and their modifications, a slot machine 10 or 10A is adapted to reset a count Ta Of slot games set as rescue-set games, upon occurrences of such an event as a rescue pay, or a winning combination yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit (i.e., a wining combination of special symbols).

However, there may be a configuration for resetting a count Ta of slot games set as rescue-set games, upon occurrences of an event else than such an event as a rescue pay, or a winning combination yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit.

Description is now made of a slot machine according to a third embodiment of the present invention including the first embodiment applied thereto mutatis mutandis, the slot machine being configured for resetting a count Ta of slot games set as rescue-set games, also upon occurrences of an event else than such an event as a rescue pay, or a winning combination yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit. The slot machine according to the third embodiment is different from the first embodiment as applied, at the step S34 of FIG. 4 implementing a slot game executing process, and at the step S36 of FIG. 4 implementing a counting process of rescue-set games counted by the counter 128, with respect to their sub-processes shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7.

Description is now made of a slot game executing process of the slot machine according to the third embodiment, with reference to a flow chart of sub-processes shown in FIG. 21.

In FIG. 21, sub-processes along a line of steps S151 to S156 are like to those at the steps S71 to S76 in FIG. 6 of the first embodiment as applied, and redundant description is omitted. According to the present embodiment, upon a judgment at a step S155 for a failure to align a winning combination of special symbols yielding a dividend of 60 pieces or more of credit per one piece of credit (‘no’ at the step S155), a CPU 106 executes a sub-process (at a step S157) for judging whether or not reset symbols are aligned on display regions Q1 to Q5. It is noted that the phrase “reset symbols are aligned” refers to a combination of symbols of a prescribed kind of reset symbol (e.g. BAR symbol in the present embodiment) rearranged on respective rescue lines (insurance lines) set in central regions of five display regions Q1 to Q5. Therefore, if five “single BAR” symbols shown in FIG. 10 are rearranged as described, those reset symbols will be judged as “aligned”.

Upon a judgment for a combination of aligned reset symbols (‘yes’ at the step S157), the CPU 106 executes a sub-process at a step S158 to set a reset-symbol combination flag to “1”. Thereafter, the present process goes to an end.

Description is now made of a rescue-set game counting process of the slot machine according to the third embodiment, with reference to a flow chart of sub-processes shown in FIG. 22.

In FIG. 22, sub-processes along a line of steps S161 to S165 are like to those at the steps S91 to S95 in FIG. 7 of the first embodiment as applied, and redundant description is omitted. According to the present embodiment, upon a judgment at a step S163 for a special symbol combination flag not being “1” (‘no’ at the step S163), the CPU 106 executes a sub-process at a step S166 to judge whether or not the reset-symbol combination flag is “1”. Namely, it is judged whether or not the reset-symbol combination flag, which has been described in conjunction with the step S158 in FIG. 21, is set to “1”. If the reset-symbol combination flag is “1” (‘yes’ at the step S166), the CPU 106 executes a sub-process at a step S167 to reset the value of a count Ta, and further executes a sub-process at a step S168 to reset the reset-symbol combination flag.

Upon a judgment at the step S166 for a reset-symbol combination flag not being “1” (‘no’ at the step S166), the present process goes to an end. That is, if neither special symbol combination flag nor reset-symbol combination flag is set to “1”, the present process goes to an end, leaving the count Ta as it has been incremented at a step S162. Thereafter, the process flow will be called for a subsequent slot game.

According to the third embodiment, the slot machine configured as described works, if a slot game has a combination of five symbols of a prescribed kind of reset symbol (e.g. BAR symbol) aligned on rescue lines (insurance lines) set in central regions of the five display regions Q1 to Q5, to reset the value of a count Ta of slot games set as rescue-set games that has been counted till then by a counter 128.

It is noted that the third embodiment takes a combination of five reset symbols aligned on the rescue lines, directly as a condition to be met to reset the value of a count Ta of slot games set as rescue-set games. However, it may be configured to count, at the counter 128 for example, the number of times five reset symbols are aligned on the rescue lines, and operate, when the value of that count has reached a prescribed reference (e.g., five) of the time number, to reset the value of a count Ta of slot games set as rescue-set games.

In any one of the foregoing embodiments of the present invention and modifications thereof, instead of increasing a dividend for rescue pay by a proportion corresponding to a partial wager of a wager bet by a player to the slot game (with a max-bet inclusive), a wager for a slot game to be executed may be decreased by a portion of the proportion corresponding to the partial wager.

Description has been made of gaming machines as well as playing methods thereof according to illustrative embodiments of the present invention, which however are not restrictive, and their constituents may be each substituted with an arbitrary configuration having like function.

For example, the foregoing embodiments have employed an exemplary lower LCD 16, which is provided with an array of five display regions Q1 to Q5 for a slot game to be executed thereon. However, the present invention is not limited thereto, and may be applied to various types of display regions, such as a matrix of three rows by three columns of display regions.

Moreover, the foregoing embodiments are each configured with a touch panel 19 to be touched by a player for choice of an arbitrary option. However, the use of a touch panel 19 may be replaced by a switch operation for choice of an arbitrary option.

Still more, in the foregoing embodiments, a slot machine has an exemplary lower LCD 16 configured to display image frames of symbols for a slot game to be executed thereon. However, according to the present invention that is not limited thereto, a slot machine may be configured to rotate a combination of drums with symbols marked on their lateral sides, for a slot game to be executed thereon.

Yet more, in the foregoing embodiments, a slot machine is taken as an example of a gaming machine. However, the present invention that is not limited thereto may be applied to a variety of gaming machines, such as for a horse racing game.

Further, the foregoing detailed description is made with characteristic parts centered for a facilitated understanding of the present invention. The present invention is not restricted to the embodiments disclosed in the detailed description, and may be applied in other embodiments in a variety of application fields. Further, those terms and directions used herein are employed for exact description of the present invention, and in no way used to limit construe of the present invention. Further, artisan may easily devise, from a concept of this invention disclosed herein, other configurations, systems, methods, or the like that the concept of this invention covers. Accordingly, the claims should be construed to cover equivalent configurations within a range not exceeding the range of technical thoughts of this invention. Further, the abstract is provided with an objective to allow for a prompt judgment in a simple investigation of technical contents and essences of the present application, such as by a patent office, general public agency, or technician belonging to this field of art and non-specialized to patent or legal terms or technical terms. Accordingly, the abstract has no intention to restrict the scope of this invention to be estimated by recitation in the claims. Further, for a sufficient understanding of purposes of this invention as well as peculiar effects thereof, it is desirable to construe them taking well into consideration those materials which have been disclosed ever, and the like.

The foregoing detailed description contains processes to be executed by a computer. The foregoing description and expression are given with a purpose of allowing a most efficient understanding by artisan. Respective steps employed herein to deduce a result should be understood as self-consistent steps. Further, respective steps include electric or magnetic signal transmission and reception, storage, etc. For a process in a step, such a signal may be expressed in terms of a bit, value, symbol, letter, term, numeral, etc., whereas it should be noted that they are employed simply for convenient description. Further, for a process in a step, the description may employ a common expression to human action, whereas described processes herein should be implemented by a variety of devices, as a rule. Further, for execution of steps, there may be other necessary components that will obvious from the foregoing description.

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Referenced by
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US8002632Jul 31, 2008Aug 23, 2011Universal Entertainment CorporationGame server, game machine, and game control method
US8021225Apr 13, 2007Sep 20, 2011Universal Entertainment CorporationGaming machine
US8172673Jul 31, 2008May 8, 2012Universal Entertainment CorporationGame server, game control method, and game machine
US8192273Jul 31, 2008Jun 5, 2012Universal Entertainment CorporationGame server, game control method, and game machine
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/25
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/34, G07F17/3258
European ClassificationG07F17/32K12, G07F17/32, G07F17/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 7, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OKADA, KAZUO;REEL/FRAME:020477/0561
Effective date: 20080109